Recently my good friend Butch posted a lovely picture of a branch of an apple tree loaded with red apples. It was especially pleasant for me as my Son-in law Eric and my Jill have apple trees on their property in Washington. Eric made gallons and gallons of the best Apple cider I have ever tasted from last years harvest.
The picture reminded me of a sometimes troubling in passage The Sermon on the Mount. Mathew says “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. For many people have been unnecessarily felt a sort of hopeless guilt over that remark. They ask the question “How can the Bible expect me to be as perfect as God?”
I want to redefine the word perfect as used in this passage. The word perfect means complete or mature. Now back to Butch’s apples. Just an hour ago I picked up an apple from my fruit bowl, It was an apple that had no flaws. It was a beautifully colored and shaped. It tasted sweet and juicy. It was a great part of my breakfast but it was not perfect. It was picked at it’s peak and carefully handled at the store and by me when I got it home but it would never be perfect in the Biblical sense because I ate it.
The apple was not complete because it had not achieved it’d full destiny. Here is the tale of the apple. A seed gets planted and nurtured by the pulp of the apple. A plant then springs up. Over many years it becomes a fully developed apple tree which bares more apples. At that point the original apple that fell to the ground bearing the seeds and the pulp that resulted in the tree we began with after all those years of development is perfect.It has fulfilled it’s purpose by providing the world with a new apple tree.
Let’s come back to the Matthew verse only this time change a few words. “Be complete as your Heavenly Father is complete. The Old testament quote calls “God The I Am Who I Am” Personally to me that means God is all I ever need him to be. I am sure their is volumes more about that name than I could ever hope to expound but that is enough for me
The Matthew verse could be restated as ” AS God is everything he is let George Marion Caywood be everything he is.” In other words god is asking me to unload all the personality disorders that block the flow of god so he can increasingly enjoy being the wonder that God made him to be. God is totally complete. He has no need for personal development I should continue to surrender to God so I can always move toward being everything I was created to be.
God loves me as I am today even though I have yet to accept that I am the new creature the Bible insists I am. I am only asked to work with God in order surrender my self to him
There are no stairs for me to climb. No ladders for me to go up. God created me the way he wanted me. All He asks is I allow him to remove from me all the toxic attitudes about me that I have been taught and learned.
In the 90’s instead of resolutions I made up slogans That said what I wanted to be my theme for that year. For example “Joy galore in 94” or “Come alive in 95”. The year I prayed for joy I did not get instantly more joyous. Instead the Holy Spirit began to reveal and deal with all the things about my personality that blocked the flow of joy that was in my true self. In 96 when I prayed to come alive, God and I tried to surrender all the death dealing aspects of my personality as god revealed them. For 22 years I have dealt with my anger so I could more clearly be the loving man I actually am by creation. I learned that what god reveals God heals.
I have learned a new way to spell toxic. It is “Talk Sick” All the talk sick things I have been taught and agreed to about myself had to go.
I was born about a month before I was expected. My Mom and her family were out shopping for the things they needed for the baby shower they were giving anticipating my birth. While they were shopping my Mom went into labor. I was born on July 27th. My family didn’t tell all their friend I had been born. Before the shower began they put me in the bassinet
As women came in they were asked to put their gifts in the bassinet. They were all so surprised to see baby George peacefully lying in his bed. all the women picked me up too love me they felt the truth about me.To them I was pure, sweet sinless and wonderful.
I was not born with emotional, spiritual defects.Those things were taught to me later. Now what God wants is to move me ever so carefully back toward the wholeness and beauty of the newborn George Caywood